Movement breaks the ice

Shake before serving...

I'm a big fan of David Polinchock's "crowd control" work over at the Brand Experience Lab. If you've missed it, they've got people in cinemas swaying in unison to play giant computer games on the sacred silver screen...



The most telling statement in this video is when David says that the viewers enjoyed the movie more after playing the game.

I've encountered a similar effect in my interactive theater work. In one successful show, the fun begins with the audience sitting down to a gala meal. One character is wandering around with a bellows camera, taking snaps.

Now, the various actors who play the photographer have different strategies. One will let the people stay seated and will amuse them with excellent witty patter while he sets up his camera and takes portraits. Another actor will get this bunch of strangers on their feet, stand them against the wall, switch them around, make them move into the light, out of the light, banish someone from the group, bring him back... You get the idea.

The difference is startling. While both audiences are equally amused, the shaken-and-stirred second group will move back to their table with the ice thoroughly broken (remember, these are strangers) and quickly get down to the teamwork of the murder mystery, laughing and joking all the time. The other group are just as happy with the show, but the barriers between them are still strong, and they will still be sitting slightly stiffly and making polite conversation during the second course.

Every actor who has done a warm-up knows that physical movement - especially in unison or in groups - is a strong method to break down social barriers and encourage communication. It also gets the blood flowing to the brain and encourages creativity.

If you are a trainer, teacher or presenter, remember to get your group out of their seats and moving as often as you can. If you are planning a party, remember that the simple act of asking people to stand can make the evening better. And if you are designing a customer experience, think how letting customers move and cooperate in groups could enhance their experience of your service.

No comments:

Latest posts...

There was an error in this gadget